How stretching actually changes your muscles – Malachy McHugh
Stretching changes your muscles in a number of ways. It can:
- Increase the length of the muscle fibers.
- Improve the range of motion of the joints.
- Reduce muscle tension.
- Improve circulation.
- Help to prevent muscle injuries.
- Promote relaxation.
When you stretch a muscle, you are applying a force that elongates the muscle fibers. This force causes the muscle fibers to lengthen and the connective tissue around the muscle fibers to stretch. Over time, this repeated stretching can cause the muscle fibers to lengthen permanently. This is why stretching can help to improve the range of motion of the joints.
Stretching can also help to reduce muscle tension. Muscle tension is caused by the muscle fibers contracting too much. When you stretch a muscle, you are applying a force that opposes the force of the muscle contraction. This can help to relax the muscle fibers and reduce muscle tension.
Stretching can also help to improve circulation. When you stretch, you are increasing the range of motion of the joints. This allows more blood to flow to the muscles and surrounding tissues. Improved circulation can help to reduce muscle soreness and promote healing.
Stretching can also help to prevent muscle injuries. When muscles are tight, they are more likely to be injured. Stretching can help to keep muscles loose and prevent injuries.
Finally, stretching can promote relaxation. Stretching can help to reduce stress and improve mood. It can also help to improve sleep quality.
It is important to note that stretching should not be painful. If you feel pain when you stretch, you should stop. Stretching should be done slowly and gently. It is also important to warm up before stretching. Warming up helps to prepare the muscles for stretching and reduces the risk of injury.
Here are some tips for stretching:
- Stretch slowly and gently.
- Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat each stretch 2-3 times.
- Warm up before stretching.
- Do not stretch to the point of pain.
- If you have any pain, stop stretching.
Stretching is a great way to improve your flexibility, range of motion, and muscle health. It can also help to prevent muscle injuries and promote relaxation
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